Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tony Wilkins: "Let's Feed Some People"

Yesterday Greensboro City Councilman Tony Wilkins posted the following to his Facebook page:

 "I recently had a sit down with BJ Barnes. I say BJ, we've got the second hungriest city in the country right beside of an 800 acre farm. How can we feed some people? He tells me that 320 acres of the farm are not being used. So I go to Mr. Jones with the coop. I ask him if there is any possibility that we might discuss using 320 acres of the farm to help supply the coop? He was excited at the possibility. This was last Thursday. I have informed Jim Westmoreland and Chris Wilson and Jamal that I want to discuss this with them. Keep in mind the Commissioners voted to close the farm last Thursday. I have no idea if the Commissioners would consider such an in-kind contribution. What a major partnership this could be.

I also have no idea if this can go anywhere. It's just a very raw thought. Somebody smarter than me will have to figure it out, but I think it's an idea worth discussing."

Finally someone on the Greensboro City Council is talking sense.

Guilford County Commissioner Justin Conrad suggested Aquaculture, something I have been pushing City Council to do for ages.

"Alan and I discussed the farm today and I did bring up an idea passed to me by another of a potential aquaculture effort to the site. It has some potential but is still a very, very raw idea. The thought process behind this type of endeavor is that this type of agribusiness, while very old in existence, is developing here in the US. it would be great to partner with a University that could help with cutting edge technology to make the idea successful. Luckily for us we have such a University in A&T. just an idea but an interesting one."

In case you think Aquaculture won't work here I direct you to Blue Ridge Aquaculture 1 hour north of Greensboro in Martinsville, Virginia:

"BRA’s Martinsville’s facility, using only 2.4 acres under 1 roof, doubled the freshwater fish production for Virginia in 2000 and made the company the largest tilapia producer (marine or otherwise) in the United States."
Greensboro has empty shopping centers that big. Greensboro has city lakes that could be leased to growers for floating fish farms while leaving plenty of room for recreational uses. Greensboro owns 500 never before used acres at the White Street Landfill. Greensboro has an overabundance of water 
because of the closing of so many water dependent factories. Greensboro has $272 Million Dollars to invest in local business start-ups.

In other words, while I'm all for Councilman Wilkins' idea to put the County Farm to good use for the citizens of Guilford County, the City of Greensboro has the ways, means, land and money to do it with or without Guilford County.

Don't back down, Tony. It's time we stopped eating toxic foods imported from China. Is that what you want to feed your children? If the Greensboro City Council can spend over $60 Million Dollars to build a performing arts center to entertain Greensboro elites then they can find a way to put us to work and feed the poor. Make the rest of the City Council understand that if they don't get behind you they do so at their own peril. Otherwise we'll all be marching on Irving Park with our bowls and spoons in hand expecting dinner. It better be good and it better be on time. And hot, dammit! Tell Nancy I eat a lot!

And everyone else, please share to make Tony's job easier.

Afterthought: You know, I was joking when I wrote about marching on Irving Park with bowls and spoons but now that I think about it a few hundred or a few thousand hungry marchers making their way through Irving Park bowls and spoons in hand might be a good way to rattle the fat bastards.